Parents play a key role in whether or not their very tall daughter embraces–or despises–her height.
Here are super tips for building self-esteem in a tall girl.
My niece is 12 and pushing 5-6, and she’s not the least bit self-conscious of her height. My other niece, 17, is 5-9 and proudly wears high heels.
A tall woman posted a very disturbing comment on a tall women’s web site.
The site attracts comments from tall women all over the world, and the comments indicate that the tall women who blame their suffering on height, outnumber the tall women who’ve always loved their height, a ratio of about 8 to 1. Are tall women in general, accurately represented by this site?
I don’t believe so. Maybe only those tall women who feel cheated out of being “normal” are far more inclined to post negative comments about their height.
The confident tall women perhaps bypass the site, which (according to postings) usually gets stumbled upon when tall women are googling keywords for clothing or shoes.
This tall women’s site then shows up in the search engine rankings.
Maybe tall women, unhappy with their height, are more apt to click on the link, and then end up posting disturbing comments.
Meanwhile, confident tall women spot the link, but bypass it and click on the clothes or shoe link. Who knows? Below is the exact entry that I found deeply disturbing, copied and pasted word-for-word:
6’1 1/2″ Rachel wrote (October 23rd 2008) –
I’m 22 years old and have always felt like an outcast for being tall. As it is the same with most of us, it was hard emotionally being tall in school.
I was made fun of ALOT and even dropped out of school because of it.
Now I have found a man that embraces my height and we have an 8 month old daughter.
Sometimes I cry because I know she is going to be just as tall, maybe even taller, as me. Her father is 6’3″. I’m not upset about the fact she is going to be tall, I am upset because I don’t want her to go through the torture of being ridiculed in school.
So Rachel dropped out of school because the ridicule at school was so intense. Rachel refers to the school ridicule as “torture.”
Remember the Columbine school massacre? One of the victims was Isaiah Shoels. Isaiah Shoels wasn’t the best-looking boy at school. Plus, he stood only 4-11 and was 18 years old.
You’d think he’d be the relentless target of “torture” at school. But just the opposite was true, according to an Associated Press article that appeared in the April 30, 1999 News Wisconsin:
Classmates enjoyed Shoels so much that they competed to work with him on group assignments, Principal Frank DeAngelis said. “If Isaiah was in the cafeteria, there was a group of people around Isaiah. People wanted to be around Isaiah.”
Other articles described Isaiah in a similar way; he was very popular. My point? Women are apt to blame being tall on why a girl is “tortured” and ridiculed at school.
But height is only a superficial reason. Isaiah’s personality and self-esteem had been locked in place by a wonderful home life that was highly conducive to developing strong self-worth, and as a result, school was a happy experience.
Logic tells me that Rachel’s childhood upbringing was ripe with sourness and negativity, little praise, weak in the emotional support department, and not conducive to building self-esteem.
When a child has no self-esteem, she (or he) will be a bully magnet at school.
Regardless of height. But if they are tall, tall jokes will abound — and this fuels the victim’s hatred for her height.
It’s a vicious cycle. Similarly, if the victim lets it known she hates her freckles, kids at school will relentlessly make fun of her freckles. Bullies at school will not ridicule a kid for a trait that the child loves.
Rachel carries her self-loathing (and misplaced blame — blaming it all on height) into adulthood, and will transfer it to her daughter. She already has; she admits to crying for the child’s future school experience.
The effect this will have on the daughter will be horrendous. Read the last line of Rachel’s post.
That child is going to spend her school years feeling defective and freakish, courtesy of how her mother fears for her. Mum will be crying for her, worried about her, nervous about her.
This will rub off on the girl; the girl will expect to be ridiculed at school, and when a child expects disaster, things have a funny way of working out to fulfill those expectations!
The girl will be scared to death of her first day of junior high or high school (or maybe her first day of grade school), obsessing about her height, anticipating ridicule, and behaving accordingly: head hanging, painfully shy, afraid to introduce herself, etc. This behavior will attract ridicule!
The girl’s thought patterns will have already been established by her mother.
The girl will already feel like a freak long before she enters high school. She will have internalized her mother’s destructive attitude.
I don’t have a PhD in psychology, but let’s face it: This is Psychology 101 ! Rachel is ALREADY throwing pity parties for her daughter!
I hope Rachel and other women like her read this. Women, take note: Kids are masters at picking up their mothers’ anxieties and internalizing them. This is Psychology 101.
Women, do not doom your daughter from the start, like Rachel is doing.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.